More people exempt from health insurance on religious grounds

The number of people applying for exemption from the legal requirement to have health insurance rose 14% in 2013, according to the health ministry.

The most recent figures from the health ministry show that 12,500 people applied for exemption last year. Most of them do so for religious reasons because insurance is considered a negation of divine providence

The ministry does not say how many of the 12,500 were granted exemption.

According to Sophie van der Zee of the health insurance site, the number of conscientious objectors is likely to have grown because of the discussion about vaccination during the summer outbreak of measles in the Bible belt region of the Netherlands.

These conscientious objectors have a sum of money appropriate to their income taken through their taxes, which is then saved by the health insurance advisory council CVZ. The money is made available to pay for any healthcare that may be needed.

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